While I think that Obama and company have handled the entire Blagojevich matter incorrectly (and probably dishonestly), I must applaud the course of action taken by one member of his team.
Emanuel turned testy and declined to talk with a reporter who approached him Thursday at Chicago City Hall, where he was watching his children perform in a concert. The Chicago Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.
“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Don’t do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”
When pressed for comment, he said, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.
Now I realize that the press has the right to ask questions, and I fully support their doing so. That said, there is an appropriate time, place, and manner for doing so – and the Sun-Times reporter chose the wrong one. There was absolutely nothing asked that could not have waited until after the Emanuel kids sang at that concert – and Emanuel was pretty gentle in how he rebuffed the reporter in question. Every public official has a private life and is entitled to a bit of family/personal time, and Emanuel was drawing a healthy line to guarantee that he would get to be a Dad. What’s not to respect there?
And given Rahm’s reputation, I’m actually amazed there weren’t a few curse words – which I would have been hard-pressed to condemn under the circumstances.